Tuesday, December 30, 2003

You're So Real

Here's one that moves a little more than the last. I like this one on a bunch of different levels. Go ahead and listen to You're So Real by Matchbox Twenty while I talk. This song is great. Aside from it's good tempo, I love the attitude and quite honestly I love Rob Thomas' voice. I've always had a weak spot for singers who were so good, they could shine with just an acoustic guitar backing them up. So you could imagine when Rob sings "You taste like honey Honey. Tell me can I be your honey?" in this acoustic version of Disease, I just want to eat him up. Yeah, I know. This one is on This is Alice Music 7 and a benefit CD for breast cancer research.

Where was I? Oh yeah, You're So Real. I love this line too.

You always know just who you are
You never needed someone else
To realize yourself

As I get to know who I am, I appreciate the thought. It's always good for a reminder that this is one thing we don't need others for, since we define who we are with our own words and actions. So as we roll into a new year, be yourself, be real.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

New Year Crap

Today I noticed that I’ve been holding my breath just a little when talking to people. I figured out that it’s because now that Christmas has past, we are now officially in New Year’s Resolution season. Thankfully New Year’s Resolution is the shortest of all seasons. Early birds start thinking about theirs as soon as Christmas is over and late bloomers contemplate theirs while nursing their first hangover of the year on New Year’s Day. As most of us blow our resolutions fairly quickly, eating our guilt and drinking our remorse before moving on to the regular issues of day to day life, I thought I might perhaps just skip it this year.

To fill the gap, why not stick in something somewhat more positive. I would make a list of all the things that were good this year. This does not have to be limited to lofty accomplishments like: 1. Discovered cure for deadly disease 2. Started multi-billion dollar corporation and 3. Nominated for Nobel Prize. I'm sure there are things we did by accident that happened to turn out well. That counts right along with planned goals actually completed. Even the little positive things are good: 1. Stopped stealing my neighbor’s Sunday paper, 2.Increased fuel efficiency by 4 mpg 3. got to bed before 1am most nights.
(Note: these are just examples not actual things I did this year).

And just to add an element of fun on New Year's Eve it easily morphs into a drinking game. With each drink you must list something good you've done. Have someone keep track of what each player says to avoid repeats. Be sure to bring a deadbeat loser friend along to be the designated driver or perhaps just stash a few bills and your address in your shoe to pay for cab fare. If you've been especially good, you can count on getting totally sloshed.

Good things I’ve done this year
Starting painting again
Kicked my TV addiction (replaced it with a Netflix habit but hey one thing at a time)
Managed to remain employed all year long
Found a great place to live
Got off my butt and started moving and eating right
And did it again after taking a break when I got sick
And then again (third time's a charm, yes?)
Wrote a whole bunch of entries in my online journal
Paid off a ton of debt and didn’t buy everything I wanted
Did volunteer work that helped people who needed it and still had fun
Was able to take two trips home to spend with Mom (using money I made from my job and overtime I earned from the volunteer work I did)
Bought and tended to 3 garden plants (2 tomatoes and 1 basil) that produced actual and edible produce.

Can't Handle Change?
Of course I realize that some people can't handle change. For you, here's a quiz to help you pick the best New Year's Resolution. Mine?

Take the What Should Your New Year's Resolution Be? Quiz

Anyone want to volunteer? Line starts to the left.

Friday, December 26, 2003

The Way You Move

I'm not sure if it just me but this time of the year tends to bring out this "settled in" feeling. I used to blame it on the cold and downtime between Christmas and New Year's. Perhaps it's just a habit. For those of you that aren't dashing about stocking up on deeply discounted decorations and wrapping paper, here's the first of a few songs that are sitting the MP3 player I take to the gym.

The Way You Move by Outkast is not a fast one, more a song that gets me moving during that warmup phase of my cardio workout. You can speed it by listening to the back beat and doing double-time. I guess the point I'm making is just to get moving. Now I do realize that the sort of moving the song talks about is fairly specific if you listen to the lyrics.

I will admit that I've been naively grooving to this song for a while before bothering to pay attention to the lyrics. This phenomenon is what I call "Lyrical Laziness". You enjoy the song maybe even learn the words but don't really put them in the context to which they were written. The song Afternoon Delight might have been my first foray into this area. I had no idea it was about sex, I was, like 10, when this was playing on the radio. I had no idea how many people fell into this place until I was in college and Marcia was telling me how upset her father got when she and her little brother Roger got when he caught them singing the song. Since then there have been many and given that I'm listening to more dance and hiphop at the gym, I'm sure it will continue.

Oh and if you sing along with practically any song sung by Robert Plant, it's a fairly good guess that you are in fact discovering a new way to describe sex. Don't worry about it really. Just know that if the woman standing behind you in the supermarket line gives you that look, while you sing that song in your head, it might not be because you have more than 10 items in the 10 or less aisle.

Oh yeah, get moving. More on it's way.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

December update

I had been thinking about doing a week in review sort of post, but I realize that it's been a month since I've been here. D'oh! I have been in recovery from the copious amount of time off I've had the last couple of weeks in November. I have been trying to blame it on this three week lingering cold I picked up from the office. Workouts have shifted to evening hours which I hate because it cuts into my loafing time. I am formulating a plan to get me out of the weird headspace I get into when I've been good and compliant for a couple of months. Since this happens again and again, finding a way to get me out of this rut and to help avoid getting stuck in it would be good.

I spent Thanksgiving at Betty's and had a great time. Dinner was great and her pies, totally from scratch, were well worth the wait. Thanksgiving rolled right into December. I decided to buy a tree on Wednesdayand Esther helped me haul it up the hill in her sporty new Tribute. Earlier that day she invited me to see Cirque du Soleil's Alegria with her. Alegria means joy in Portuguese, which is a perfect way to describe the first time I had ever seen them perform live. I had been watching their Bravo program, Fire Within, and really want to see Varakai live. This was a still a great show and the seats were just 3 rows from the stage.

After this excitement, I spent time cleaning up the house, tarting up Doug, the Douglas fir, and buying crabs for a crabfest. It was nice having a few people over and feeding them until they begged for mercy. Okay they didn't beg, but they certainly left with full bellies.

I did some Christmas shopping, but the late Thanksgiving has thrown me off a bit. I did get back into my exercise but feel like I've lost a lot of the momentum. I need to figure out what I need to keep myself motivated and eating and exercising consistently, otherwise all I've managed to do is develop the ability to binge exercise and eat properly. A weird and disturbing thing to do.

Our holiday party at work is coming up and I'm trying to come up with cool stuff to buy that is under 20 bucks. Unless someone comes up with some great ideas, I'm going to buy some cheap DVDs of old TV shows like The Little Rascals, I Love Lucy and the Three Stooges.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Seasonal Spirit

This year I'm doing it differently. I'm going to try the Christmas spirit thing. It's been a little harder this year with two local radio stations deciding that mid-November is the time to start playing Christmas music 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And to think I thought the crazy format changing stations were out of hand a couple of months ago.

I've bought a tree, Doug (he's a Douglas Fir and my creative bone was cold and tired that evening), and he's all tarted up with bright baubles, twinkling lights and strings of gold beads like a drag queen at the Pride parade. (Aww, c'mon like you're surprised that I, the queen of anthropomorphism, have a flaming tree?). I cleaned and organized a crabfest for some friends. I make a point of turning on the pretty blue outdoor lights on our house every evening. I made plans to see the Nutcracker on Christmas Eve. I've said yes to all the holiday invites that I've received. Last Sunday I was shopping for some last minute items for the crabfest and found myself slipping in and out of various stores. At one point I caught myself singing a jazzed up version of Sleigh Ride that had stuck in my head.

Man isn't that just a happy little song? Even when I'm not socked in with a Nor-Easter blowing feet of snow on top of friends and family back East, I have to admit it's a cool little song. I was thinking about the special history attached to that song. I do believe that Leroy Anderson's arrangement of Sleigh Ride was played at every Christmas Concert I was in for 7 years. I remember liking it because it had a good french horn part, jazzy yet not too tricky. I know I got better at it with the repetition, but I suspect I still owe my Mom big time for making her sit through 3+ hours of these concerts year after year.

For your listening pleasure I have the good version for you. This is the one you hear every year on the radio, right down to the neighing of the horse at the end. I believe this particular one is done by Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops. Hit of the sites on the left sidebar from the main page to buy a copy for yourself.

If you were wondering about the lyrics, here is a lyrics page of this Sleigh Ride. Since I only have the instrumental version, consider it a perfect karaoke version for your singing pleasure.